When people ask me about what it’s like having au pairs, one of the most common questions is “How do you and your kids handle having someone leave (and someone arrive) every year?” It can be very hard on the family, both parents and kids, when an au pair departs.
One thing that I have found that makes it a little bit easier on my girls is to explain to them that the au pair is leaving because she has to move on to her “next adventure.”
I describe the au pair’s reason for coming to the US and her reason for leaving the US as being part of what she needs to follow her life’s adventure. The idea that a young woman should be powerful and creative to pursue her life’s adventure, even to the point of living in another country for a year,is something I’d like my kids to see as valuable and normal. And, this explanation for an au pair’s motivation also helps the kids feel better when it’s time for the au pair to leave. They realize that she isn’t leaving because she doesn’t like the kids anymore, or because she is unhappy, but because she needs to move on to her next thing.
What do you tell your children when it’s time for your Au Pair to leave?